Can menthol cigarettes really be banned? Well, there is a chance, but even if there is, it will not be anytime soon. On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration reported that they were proposing a ban on menthol-flavored cigarettes in the United States. This sounds like bad news for tobacco companies, but for anti-tobacco lawmakers, it is a step in the right direction. Let’s take a look at the details.
Why a ban on menthol cigarettes?
So why is the Food and Drug Administration specifically trying to ban menthol cigarettes? Well, the Food and Drug Administration has kept a stream of data that suggests menthol cigarettes have been abusively abused by youth culture and especially marginalized groups such as people of color and low-income communities is.
In a press release, acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock announced: “With these actions, the FDA will help reduce youth initiation, increase the likelihood of smoking cessation among current smokers, and color, low-income populations. Will overcome the health disparities experienced by K communities. , And LGBTQ + individuals, all of whom are more likely to use these tobacco products ”.
The Food and Drug Administration announced that a large proportion of black smokers favor menthol cigarettes, and black people currently have the highest rates of lung cancer in the United States. The action to propose this ban was a response to a petition from citizens since 2013. Currently, menthol is the ultimate acceptable flavor for cigarettes.
A continuous and slow process
Although the proposed ban on menthol cigarettes may sound like good or bad news, where your stance depends on tobacco use, Jefferies analyst Owen Bennett confirmed that the proposal would take years to reach a conclusion in any way Because proper evidence will be required from both. Parties to the case.
Bennett announced in a report: “For menthol, if we look at a proposed rule, it could take years before the final rule due to a watertight evidence package that would need to be put together … FDA itself. Saying in the past that there is not enough evidence ”, and that tobacco companies were also sure to fight back in defense, which would further complicate the process.
According to Cnbc, “Menthol cigarettes account for about a third of all cigarettes sold in the US. The major brands are Newport, owned by RJ Reynolds of British American Tobacco, and Cool, which is owned by ITG Brands of Imperial Tobacco.”
Fight against tobacco
The Food and Drug Administration’s decision comes after several years of public health officials prompting smokers to promote less harmful smoking methods, such as incurable products, or quit altogether. If this proposal goes ahead, it would be a major victory for anti-tobacco advocates, who insist that cigarette flavor is a gateway for consumers, especially young teenagers, into smoking.
According to the CDC, fourteen percent of the 2019 adult population in the US consumes cigarettes. Cnbc It stated that “although smoking rates are similar between Black and White populations, Black smokers are less likely to quit, which some attributed to menthol flavor”. The FDA emphasized that tobacco product smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the country, which is why they are taking this step.
The FDA also cited a study by Tobacco Control, which stated that a ban on menthol cigarettes could actually leave smokers. The study monitored behavior in Canadians after the menthol ban, and suggested that in the first thirteen to seventeen months, an American ban could potentially lead 923,000 smokers, including 230,000 African Americans, to quit smoking.